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Bingaman Bill Looks to Bring Renewables to a Socket Near You

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 By Eric Mack/Mandy Walker, Contact
June 20, 2007

Washington, D.C. - More of our electricity could be coming from renewable sources in the coming years. Sen. Bingaman is pushing a provision in the new energy bill that would require utilities to get 15 percent of their energy from renewable sources, like wind and solar power by 2020. Jeremy Symons with the National Wildlife Federation says the United States can do an awful lot over a twelve-year period if we set our minds to it.

“It's only a matter of saying, 'let's go ahead and have the will to move forward. The Bush administration's own analysis says that we can get this done while increasing energy bills by less than one half of one percent. I'm not even sure bills would go up that much.”

Symons says our coal-fired power plants are a major contributor to global warming, and switching to renewables will make a big dent in the problem. Many big utilities say the switch isn't feasible based on cost and technology. Symons points out that all the necessary technology is already available.

New Mexico has already adopted a higher goal of 20 percent renewable energy by 2020. According to Craig O'Hare, Special Assistant for Renewable Energy in the state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, a national renewable energy standard could be the icing on the cake for New Mexico's economy.

“By developing our wind resources on New Mexico's eastern plains, particularly developing our solar resource, and then serving all of these other states that don't have the same amount of renewable energy resources that we do.”

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